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Going To The Airport Early

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Corzhens, May 17, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    The airlines always issue a reminder to be in the airport at least 2 hours before the flight - that would take care of the check-in and other required procedures like the immigration. But here in Metro Manila, we usually leave the house early to be in the airport 4 hours before the flight. It is all right to wait instead of coming in late and be left by the plane. It would be a big disaster if that happens because we usually get accommodations online and had already paid it by the reserved days.

    There are so many cases of missing their flights in this Manila airport due to the extreme traffic sometimes. And there is no other route but the road with construction going on. So the advice to tourists is to be early to the airport.
  2. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Better to be safe than sorry, right? Whenever I flew to Japan, I'd make sure to leave at least an hour earlier than what it would take to get to the airport...which was about two hours away. Since the airport was on a major highway connecting New Jersey to New York and whatnot, there was often construction, accidents and all kinds of unpredictable bedlam unfolding.

    Usually, unless the airport isn't open yet (do airports ever really close?), you are more than welcome to enter, check-in or wonder the arrival/departure floor. Most international airports have shops accessible on the first floor that you don't have to pass security to reach. So if you do arrive way earlier than planned, you'll have the luxury of exploring. The only issue is that your departure gate and check-in might not be open immediately, meaning you'd have no choice but to explore and avoid boredom.
  3. 2 hours is a good waiting time I think for international flights. For domestic flights it shouldn't take longer than 45 minutes to an hour, that's what other airlines recommend as well. I think what you're referring to is the traffic in Manila which tends to be hectic and well, if you don't plan to leave early for your flight you'll definitely miss it. If you get bored waiting you can always listen to audio books, listen to music or read a book.
  4. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    We really have to take into consideration several factors aside from the allotted time for the waiting time in the airport. For me, these factors are the following:
    • Time of the Flight
    • Traffic
    • Emergencies
    • Snack or Toilet Break
    • Checking-in of Luggage
    • Saying Goodbye to Family
    Of course it depends on just where we're going, if it's a domestic or an international flight. If it's just domestic, we leave the house at least two to three hours before the flight. And if it's international, it has to be three to four hours before the flight. We need to take into consideration the time of the flight because if it's at dawn, then we can leave a little late because there's not much traffic. But if it's early morning or during rush hour in the afternoon, then we need to leave earlier or else we would be delayed.

    If we travel with kids, we need to allot some time for emergencies, snack and toilet breaks as well. If a family member is leaving for good, then we must allot time for saying goodbye as well. We're a very sentimental family so yes, there's going to be some crying and hugging, lol.
  5. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    I like to get to the airport early as I feel it's an integral part of my holiday. Once those bags are checked in and we are through security it's time to kick back, do a little shopping and enjoy some food and drinks. We always book the VIP lounges so we can relax away from the hustle and bustle and start our holidays in style.
  6. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I hate running late...I think it just adds a level of stress to a situation that doesn't need to be there if I plan appropriately!

    I'm always at the airport basically from 3 hours before an international flight. As soon as I can get into a queue to check in, I do. I just like making sure everything is done and then I can relax. I bring a book, or buy a couple of magazines at the airport kiosks - or grab a meal, or a coffee or whatever - and then it's really not too hard to occupy myself until I have to board.

    I've only missed a flight once and that was when I was younger and a travel agent booked a connecting flight for me with not enough time to get through customs/immigration. Ever since, I've always just booked my own flights and not worried about getting someone else to do it!
  7. sararas

    sararas Member

    I wish I could say I'm a punctual traveler. I've had many occasions that I "almost" miss my flight because of the idea that I live in Mactan island, and the airport is just 15 to 30 minutes away. I remember a flight going to Singapore when my friend kept calling me since I haven't arrived in the airport, yet. I remembered telling him that should I be late, he could just leave without me, haha! Luckily, I just arrived in time for check-in, and just minutes away from boarding time. Literally, the airline staff met me at the check-in and asked if I were a Singapore-bound passenger since they are about to close the gate. Anyway, it was a fond memory since I got saved by the trike driver (a 3-wheel motorbike for transport common in Philippine barangays - somewhat similar to BKK's tuktuk). The driver told me that we would be passing a heavily traffic area, and suggested that he has a motorcycle, and he could get it instead of driving the trike. Haha, since I know I would be late, I readily agreed. Of course, I ended up paying more than regular taxi fare. But at least, I managed to fly to Singapore that day. It would have been a total waste if I missed the flight. My ticket then was very expensive since I got it just a day before the flight, when I learned of my friend's plan to go.
    In any other airports though, I try to be punctual as I don't know the possible problems I might encounter.
  8. krnd

    krnd New Member

    I haven't experienced any issues with Air France or Korean Air so far when it comes to being late to the flight, usually the time they've got set for you to board is extended a few minutes rather than cut short. Of course all of my luggage checks are done first and then I just wander around, otherwise I'll be sitting waiting a few hours before the intended time for departure, luggage checks are far too risky to spend time on if you're already running late!
  9. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    I check in online wherever possible now and just drop my bags off. It's much easier. Plus, you can pre-book your seats usually which is great as you can see the entire layout of the plane on the screen. This is a handy little website to see which are the good, bad and downright ugly seats on planes! http://www.seatguru.com/
    amelia88 likes this.
  10. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Oh, I love that site! So handy for being able to understand the layouts of different planes, and where is good/bad. For instance the last thing I want is to be super close to the restrooms, or have no way of reclining my seat on a super long haul flight. It's nice being able to pick out your seat knowing that you're making an informed choice and getting the best possible comfort!
  11. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    It all depends. If it's an airport which I frequently use and I get there with a train/metro... then I usually don't reserve much extra time. Usually 1hr before departure is good, once again depends on the airport.

    If it's a new airport for me or I'm traveling with a car in a new city, then I'd aim to arrive at least 2h before since I don't know if there will be traffic or big queues. Just two days ago I flew back from Barcelona with Vueling and it took me a good 25 minutes just to be able to drop my bag off! But since it was a new airport for me, I arrived 2h before the flight so I had plenty of time to spare.
  12. Lynk

    Lynk Member

    I like to get to the airport way early. I find travel to be pretty stressful and especially the security lines. I always get there and end up waiting for about an hour by the gate. However, I just consider this a good time to hit the airport bar and maybe get in a little reading also. This makes my trip a bit more fun and cuts way down on the stress of rushing.
  13. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    We experienced the train in Kuala Lumpur last year. You are right, not much time is needed since the train moves and arrives on the estimated time because there is no traffic. For our usual 3 hours allowance before the flight, we only had 2 hours in Kuala Lumpur airport on our trip back home. That's also the allowance time we had in Beijing because our flight was midnight and the hotel people said that there is no traffic so we need not be early in the airport. But here in the Philippines, being in the airport 3 hours before the flight is just fine to avoid the worries of being held up in traffic. By the way, on Saturday, our flight for Hongkong is at 5:30am so we need to be in the airport by 2:30am and we have to leave home by 1:30am. That's our tradition when we have a plane trip.
  14. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Hmm... well yeah those two sound like good ways to spend time. Except that airport bars are ridiculously expensive and I know I'll be looking at a couple of hours of time to get that reading done in the airplane. :p It really depends on the airport but sometimes the security lines are a huge pain in the backside and sometimes it just goes really smoothly.